How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing Training School near Fountain Hills Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Fountain Hills AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have located several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.
What is a Plumber?
Almost everyone at one time or another has needed the services of a professional plumber. It may have been due to a leaky faucet or perhaps a hot water heater needed to be replaced. Plumbers provide a valuable service for the maintenance of both commercial and residential buildings. They are skilled tradesmen who are trained in the installation, repair and replacement of plumbing systems. These systems include pipes, plumbing fixtures, water based heating and cooling, sewage removal and sprinklers. A local Fountain Hills AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Fountain Hills AZ plumbers begin their careers as an Apprentice. Apprenticeships are often completed in tandem with a formalized plumbing training program. Apprentices are typically paid but unlicensed and work under the guidance of a licensed plumber during working hours and attend plumber training classes at night. The second phase of their career begins once the apprenticeship and the training program have been completed.
- Journeyman Plumber. Once the apprenticeship has been completed as well as any required training program, application for Journeyman Plumber licensing can be made. Most often licensing is controlled by the state but can be managed more locally at the county or city level. A Journeyman license will only be issued after all requirements have been met, including a passing score on the licensing exam. Even though a Journeyman is more knowledgeable and experienced than an Apprentice, they generally must continue to be supervised, in this case by a Master Plumber.
- Master Plumber. After attaining the necessary work experience and completing any additional educational requirements, the Journeyman can apply to become a Master Plumber. Once again a passing score must be achieved on the licensing exam before a license will be issued. There are several benefits to advancing to the Master Plumber level, including earnings at the highest pay level, unsupervised working conditions, and the ability to start and own a business. Master Plumbers may also hire and supervise both Journeymen and Apprentices.
As a technical field requiring a high level of skill and competence, plumbing can take years of both training and experience to master. As a consequence, the best opportunity for success for a new Apprentice in Fountain Hills AZ is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.
Plumber Certificate and Degree OptionsThere are several educational options available near Fountain Hills AZ to receive the necessary training to begin your career as a plumber. As far as the schools offering programs, you can enroll in a trade, technical or vocational school as well as a local community college. The programs offered will vary, but in general the shortest is the certificate program which will focus on the fundamentals and generally take about a year to complete. An Associate Degree will take 2 years to complete and will provide a more comprehensive education. There are some colleges that do offer a Bachelor Degree in plumbing technology, which are 4 year programs and much broader in nature. When choosing a school and program, naturally the completion time and the cost will be important factors. Tuition can vary significantly among the various schools and colleges and for some private schools can be quite expensive. State schools and community colleges typically offer their programs at the lower end of the tuition scale. However, when making your comparisons, keep in mind that many schools offer financial aid and even scholarships to help offset some of the financial burden. So be sure to find out what is available for each school and program before making your final decision.
Questions to Ask Plumber Training Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Fountain Hills AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you don’t know, ask the school which state agency is responsible for its licensing and then verify that it’s up to date.
How Long has the School been in Business? Another means of determining the quality of a technical school is to find out how long it’s been in business. The longer a school has been in operation, the more likely that its programs are highly rated and regarded. Conversely, schools that are not well regarded or that provide low quality training generally don’t stand the test of time. However, keep in mind that even the best of Fountain Hills AZ schools had to start from their first day of operation, so only use it as one of several qualifications for each school you are considering.
What are the School’s Completion and Placement Rates? Ask the plumbing schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Fountain Hills AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Fountain Hills AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Fountain Hills AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Fountain Hills AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Fountain Hills AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, check that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Enroll in the Best Fountain Hills Plumber Trade School
Selecting the right plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber tech school that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Fountain Hills AZ.